U.S. Soccer on Friday passed a ban on discriminatory chanting during all soccer matches it hosts or sanctions in the United States.
The U.S. Soccer Federation board of directors passed a resolution to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for anti-gay chants as well as a plan to implement FIFA’s three-step protocol at all matches “promoted or controlled by U.S. Soccer.”
In addition, the policy must be followed during any international match in the U.S. sanctioned by the federation.
The resolution now heads to the USSF’s rules committee to ensure it doesn’t conflict with any other policies. The board was meeting in conjunction with the federation’s annual general meeting in Atlanta.
The Mexico Football Federation (FMF) adopted a similar policy in January with a five-year ban for those who chant.
The issue of discriminatory chants has come up in matches involving Mexico‘s national team, with the Mexico federation being levied multiple fines by FIFA over the utterance of anti-gay chants by fans. Previously, the USSF didn’t have a policy against discriminatory chants.
Three gender equity resolutions were tabled so that more information could be gathered by U.S. Soccer’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging council.
The first intended to update the USSF’s existing Rooney Rule-esque policy for minority hiring. Whereas previously the rule required minority candidates to be interviewed for each open senior executive, full-time head coach and full-time assistant coach position, the proposed language would be changed so the list of candidates “shall include women and candidates from underserved communities, and [the team] shall interview at least two such candidates for each position.”
The second part of the proposal will require that, by 2027, each U.S. national team shall include at least one woman full-time coach with the goal that the number of men and women full-time coaches in the national teams program shall be approximately equal by that date in accordance with applicable law.
The third section of the proposal requires that the USSF CEO and sporting director shall present to the board a plan to increase the number of licensed coaches who are women to a level equal to that of licensed coaches who are men by the year 2028.
While there was broad support for the concepts put forth in the gender equity resolutions, there was discomfort on the part of some board members that the process was rushed and hadn’t previously included the DEIB committee.
USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone noted that there were no DEIB experts present at the meeting.
CEO Will Wilson has been tasked with overseeing the process and making sure various stakeholders are included. He will develop a plan for the resolution and will present that plan at the next board meeting in May.